Canadian mint unveils coins commemorating royal wedding
Royal watchers have a newly minted keepsake to add to their collections.
Two coins commemorating the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton were unveiled Wednesday in Ottawa by the Royal Canadian Mint.
The two collectibles — a $20 pure silver coin and a coloured 25-cent piece — will be sold through the mint and at postal outlets across the country.
Neither coin will sell for near face value, however.
The limited-edition $20 coin, featuring a portrait of the couple created by Guelph, Ont., artist Laurie McGaw, will sell for $104.95.
The nickel-plated 25-cent piece — priced at $25.95 — features a coloured portrait of the couple reproduced from a 2008 photograph.
The pricier coin, which includes a sapphire-coloured crystal representing Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring, has a limited production run of 25,000.
An engraving along its edge bears the inscription HRH Prince William & Miss Catherine Middleton in English and French.
Josh Traptow, vice-chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada’s Calgary branch, said he expects the coins to be a popular keepsake.
“I haven’t bought any myself but I’m sure that some members will be placing their own orders for the coins.”
As for which coin he prefers, Traptow said he favoured the simpler 25-cent piece.
“I think it gives a better likeness of William and Kate,” he said. “It’s just a good picture of them.”
The mint has for decades recognized royal milestones with the release of commemorative coins.
In 1983, it produced 100,000 silver coins marking the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.
Mint president Ian E. Bennett, in a statement Wednesday, described the pending royal nuptials as a “priceless opportunity to celebrate Canada’s pride in royal tradition.”
Coin dealer Jim Harrison, who operates J. Harrison Agencies at Crossroads Market, said the coins should be viewed as a souvenir rather than an investment.
“These are really keepsakes more than anything else,” Harrison said.
“I can see these being quite popular. There are people that in terms of the royals enjoy collecting these.”
Harrison said he expects to see interest in royal keepsakes, including two recent mint releases of individual coins of Prince William and Prince Harry, increase as the April 29 wedding nears.
The couple are to visit Canada from June 30 to July 8, their first official trip outside Britain as newlyweds.
The tour is to include stops in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ottawa, though the official itinerary has not yet been released.